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Seven military ballots cast for Trump found discarded in Pennsylvania

A handful of ballots cast by members of the military for President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden MORE were found discarded in Pennsylvania, the Justice Department announced on Thursday.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis asked the DOJ and FBI to open an investigation into the discarded ballots on Monday following reports of "potential issues with a small number of mail-in ballots at the Luzerne County Board of Elections," the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a release.

"At this point we can confirm that a small number of military ballots were discarded," the DOJ said. "Some of those ballots can be attributed to specific voters and some cannot."

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The DOJ initially said the discarded ballots consisted of nine for Trump. A revised release said seven of the nine were for Trump and that the contents of the other two unknown.

Trump won Luzerne County by nearly 20 percentage points in 2016.

Pennsylvania is not one of several states that is automatically mailing ballot applications to all registered voters.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany addressed the military ballots during a press briefing Thursday.

"The president wants to get rid of mass mail-out voting," McEnany said. "He's said clearly that could go either way, it could damage either candidate's chances because it is a system that is subject to fraud."

She also cited a case in Greenville, Wis., where three trays of mail were reportedly found in a ditch, local affiliate Fox 11 reported.

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Trump has publicly questioned the integrity of vote-by-mail systems, alleging they favor Democrats and lead to widespread fraud. Election officials and experts have said there is no evidence to support Trump's claims.

The president cited mail-in voting when he refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he were to lose in November, sparking a bipartisan resolution from the Senate on Thursday reaffirming its commitment to such a transition.

“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” Trump told reporters at The White House on Wednesday. “The ballots are out of control. You know it, and you know who knows it better than anyone else? The Democrats know it better than anyone else.”

Updated at 4:23 p.m.